This day in college football history

Featured image New Year’s Day has always provided a festival of college football. For decades, the four most important bowl games — Cotton, Sugar, Orange, and Rose — were almost always played on January 1. That’s no longer the case. Now, there’s a national championship game that’s never played on New Year’s Day. This year, moreover, the powers-that-be decided to play the two semifinal games on New Year’s Eve. College football fans »

Meadowlark Lemon, RIP

Featured image The Harlem Globetrotters’ legendary star Meadowlark Lemon has died at the age of 83. Impossible to believe that he was that old already. I always thought the Globetrotters could be seen as a metaphor for modern American politics, with the Washington Generals playing the part of the Republican Party, destined to lose to a flashy team with no end of gimmicks and a referee corps and scorekeepers (read: the mainstream »

Dan Gelernter: Obama does the military

Featured image We haven’t gotten around to noting the Obama administration’s order to open all military jobs to women, “removing the final barriers that kept women from serving in combat, including the most dangerous and grueling commando posts.” Dan Gelernter is an occasional contributor to the Weekly Standard and chief executive officer of Dan comments: America takes its sports more seriously than its military. This is the conclusion we can draw »

The NFL Has Become Unwatchable

Featured image I was a pro football fan as a boy back in the 1960s, when our local TV station in South Dakota featured Chicago Bears and, later, Green Bay Packers games. After that, for a long time I rarely watched a pro football game. This year, not being as busy as in the past, I have seen more NFL games than in any recent season. Yesterday I was home nursing a »

J.J. Watt’s microaggression

Featured image J.J. Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans, is arguably the best player in the National Football League. Andy Dalton is the red-headed star quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals. Some call him “The Red Rifle.” Last night, after Houston upset previously undefeated Cincinnati and held the Bengals to six points, Watt said this: Our goal was to come out here and make the Red Rifle look like a Red »

Every Sports Press Conference Ever

Featured image Weird Al Yankovic is an unappreciated comic genius, and here he does the perfect send up of every postgame press conference you’ve ever watched on ESPN. A nice interlude before tonight’s debate. Which prompts a thought: Al—can you do one of these for the presidential debates? Why let Saturday Night Live have all the fun? Come to think of it, this looks a lot like every think tank panel discussion »

Affirmation of God as unsportsmanlike conduct

Featured image Sportsmen have been praising God and crediting him for their achievements since before the days of the Gipper. But now, such praise has been deemed unsportsmanlike conduct by a high school referee. Fox News reports: A Christian high school quarterback was flagged by the referee when he showed a simple sign of faith by briefly raising a finger to the sky after scoring a 73-yard touchdown. 17-year-old Dante Turo of »

A die-in to kill for

Featured image The Twin Cities Marathon went off without a hitch yesterday. The perfect weather didn’t hurt a bit. The Star Tribune reports that Kenyans placed first, second, and third among the men competing in the race. An Ethiopian joined two Kenyans in the top three among the women. A good time was had by all. Black Lives Matter could not be reached for comment. As you may recall, the local Black »

Don’t disrupt this!

Featured image The Twin Cities Marathon is a spectacular event. It is scheduled in early fall, soon enough to catch the trees changing colors. The course is spectacular (map here), taking runners from downtown Minneapolis around Minneapolis’s lakes, down the Mississippi river, across the river into St. Paul, down St. Paul’s most beautiful street, ending at St. Paul’s Capitol Grounds. The Marathon promoters brag that it is “the most beautiful urban marathon »

Disrupt this

Featured image The Black Lives Matters crowd is opening a new front in the war on racism this weekend in St. Paul. The local crew has announced its intent to disrupt the Twin Cities marathon on Sunday. The Star Tribune reports the story on page one in “Black Lives Matters marathon protest stirs fears, spurs backlash.” I hear that in journalism school they teach reporters to cover the the who, what, when, »

Yogi Berra, RIP

Featured image I’ll let Paul comment if he wishes on the baseball field greatness of Yogi Berra, dead yesterday at the age of 90. But Berra was always my favorite modern metaphysician. The folks at Newsmax have collected 53 of the Yogi’s greatest aphorisms, including such gems as “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” And: “It’s deja vu all over again.” Or perhaps my favorite—what I’ve always called “Yogi »

Remembering Moses Malone

Featured image Moses Malone died this week at the age of 60 due to cardiovascular disease. Malone ranks 5th on the list of all-time NBA rebounders and 3rd on the combined NBA/ABA list, behind only Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. In scoring, he’s in 8th place in the NBA and 7th if you count the ABA, where Moses played during his first two years as a pro. When it comes to offensive »

A Late-Night Post With Zero Redeeming Social Value

Featured image Those who come to Power Line only for serious commentary MUST skip this post. Because it has to do with marching bands behaving badly, and what could be more frivolous than that? This halftime performance by the Kansas State marching band has gotten a lot of attention. It shows the Starship Enterprise attacking a Kansas University Jayhawk. Some–the dirty-minded, apparently–have deemed this innocent video NSFW: To which I can only »

Federal Judge Vacates Brady Suspension

Featured image This morning, Federal Judge Richard Berman made good on his courtroom observation that he didn’t think much of the NFL’s case against Tom Brady: he found that Commissioner Goodell’s arbitration decision with respect to Brady exceeded his authority, and vacated the decision in its entirety. It is rare for judges to overturn the decisions of arbitrators. I have no opinion on whether Judge Berman’s decision will survive the appeal to »

Why baseball players have a more effective union than football players?

Featured image Clark Griffith explains why he thinks “Tom Brady will lose and baseball players win.” It’s because “in Major League Baseball, grievances are heard and decided by an impartial arbitrator. In the National Football League, the person who hears and decides grievances is the commissioner.” I want to focus on a more general question: Why has the Major League Baseball Players Association consistently negotiated more favorable contracts on a full range »

Political incorrectness is alive and well at FIFA

Featured image Will the demise of Sepp Blatter as head of FIFA, the corrupt outfit that governs world soccer, produce meaningful reform? Maybe. But Francois Carrard, the man in charge of leading FIFA’s reform task force has a lot in common with Blatter. Both are 77 years old; both are Swiss; and both hold views that are out-of-fashion, at least when it comes to expressing them. Blatter’s insensitive comments are legendary. They »

Nick Saban offers a life lesson

Featured image Nick Saban, the hugely successful head football coach at the University of Alabama, offered some interesting dating advice to his players, according to an excerpt from a new biography by Monte Burke. “Ultimately,” the coach reportedly told the team, “you never want to sleep with anybody who has less to lose than you do.” Saban found a colorful way to drive home the point. “So, ultimately, if I’m ever going »